Sickness Pervades in Displaced Camps in Karenni and Shan States

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Children staying at rudimentary internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps, quickly assembled for tens of thousands of villagers who fled violence between the Burma Army and a civilian resistance group, are getting sick because there isn’t enough medicine, food and blankets and warm clothing.

“Babies are suffering from asthma, vomiting and have diarrhea. They need glucose but there is not enough in the IDPs camps. There are also no thermometers,” said a female villager, explaining when the fighting started in Demawso Township they couldn’t bring anything with them.

Over 50,000 civilians have been displaced by the conflict between Karenni People’s Defense Force and the military that started a week ago. Villagers from Demawso and Loikaw townships in Karenni State (aka Kayah) and Pekon Township in southern Shan State have been forced from their villages after Burma Army shelled their homes and churches with artillery.

There are about 2,000 people from 20 villages who sought refuge in the camp in Demawso Township. Most of them are elderly, women and children. Cases of diarrhea and cholera are on the rise because residents are drinking dirty water. And people are getting colds and the flu because they don’t have warm clothing, nutritional food or even enough protection from the rain for everyone.

There isn’t enough medicine available in the camp, said the displaced women, explaining they have to give children paracetamol for adults.

“They need proper medicine,” a volunteer said, but all they have is methyl alcohol to treat wounds and paracetamol for pain relief. “Some of the children are seriously ill, and they are not getting medical care.”

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